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H&R Block 2014 review & giveaway

H&R Block is one of the oldest & largest retail tax preparation firms in the US. H&R Block prepares one in seven U.S. tax returns. Even if you didn’t use H&R Block, you would have seen their offices within a few miles of your home.

H&R Block different versions

H&R Block comes in different prices and flavors. You can be sure to find a version to best suit your needs.

H&R Block Review & Giveaway

  • Free Edition ($0.00 Online, SmartPhone & iPad) : If you have the most basic tax situation and usually file 1040 EZ, you can prepare and e-file for free. You will receive step by step guidance, error checking and free audit support. Yes, there is free audit support for the free edition. This is not available in any other competing tax software.
  • Basic Edition(19.99 Online & iPad/ $16.96 Download) : The basic edition is a time-saving free edition. This edition pretty much does the same thing as the free edition. The added advantage is it imports your last year’s returns (from both H&R Block and Turbotax software) and has support for W2 import (limited support in my opinion, more on that later).
  • Deluxe Edition ($29.99 Online & iPad/$38.21 Download) : Ideal for taxpayers who own their homes and have multiple investments. This edition also includes schedule C for self employed, but not as comprehensive as the premium edition.
  • Premium Edition ($49.99 Online & iPad/$55.21 Download) : This edition includes everything that comes with the deluxe edition plus a few additional features. Premium edition comes with advanced schedule C for self employed and extra guidance for rental property income and expenses.
  • Premium & Business Edition ($67.96 Download only) : If you are a small business owner and need help with a corporation, LLC, partnership or other types of businesses, this edition is for you.
  • Best of Both edition ($79.99 Online only) : If you are not very comfortable about doing everything on you own, but don’t want to pay the full price of a CPA, this edition will give you some peace of mind. A H&R Block tax professional will review the return you put together, make sure it is 100% accurate and certify it. This means that if you are audited and penalized by the IRS as a result of the tax professional’s mistake, H&R Block will absorb 100% of the cost.

You can get unlimited advice from a tax expert with all the products.

Here is a summary of the different editions

Product Free Basic Deluxe Premium Best of Both Premium & Business
BasicBox DeluxeBox PremiumBox PremiumBusinessBox
Price (Online) Free $19.99 $29.99 $49.99 $79.99 NA
Price (iPad) Free $19.99 $29.99 $49.99 NA NA
Price (SmartPhone) $9.95* NA NA NA NA NA
Price (Download) NA $16.96 $38.21 $55.21 NA $67.96
Best for First time filers & very basic tax situations Simple tax situations Home Owners & Investors Self employed and Rental property owners People who are uncomfortable with just online returns and need an expert to go over the return Small business owners

*Includes one state program

What I liked about H&R Block at home.

  • Best support. I tried to get help with a question. The online chat feature was awesome and I got my answer in less than a couple of minutes.
  • Complimentary Worry Free Audit Support : If you are audited by the IRS, a H&R block enrolled agent will guide you with the audit and also represent you before the IRS, if you request. Note: H&R Block does not pay penalty and interest charges or any additional tax liability under this Program, unless the penalty falls under their Accurate Calculation Guarantee.
  • Accurate Calculation Guarantee : If there is any arithmetic errors in your return, H&R block will pay all the penalty and interest that are a result of these errors.
  • Start all editions for free, don’t pay until you file.
  • Guaranteed to get the maximum tax refund or you get your money back.
  • The Deduction Pro (for recording and valuing donations) is now part of the software. In the previous years, it was a separate paid product.

What I didn’t like about H&R Block at home.

  • H&R Block allows the import of your W2 and all the other tax documents (1099 INT, 1099 DIV, etc), but my husband’s company’s W2 was not available for import.
  • I had trouble with importing my 1099 DIV as well. Every time I tried to import forms from Vanguard, it said the forms are not available. I thought this was a bit annoying considering the popularity of Vanguard & the fact that Turbotax managed to import the forms without any problem.

Overall impression of H&R Block

You can’t beat their reputation or the audit guarantee they offer. For the price, H&R Block’s audit support is the best in the industry. I liked their support (online chat) very much. Overall, they offer the best price value for federal online tax software.

Giveaway

[The giveaway has ended.]

Disclaimer: I was provided a review copy of the H&R Block premium online edition, but that did not influence the content of this review. The giveaway copies are also provided by H&R Block. I have no other relationship with H&R Block and after I send the code, I am not responsible for anything.

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